Growing Old

The first sign that my Grandmother was going a senile was when I was very young.   At the time she was washing up in the kitchen and passing wind to her heart’s content.  Of course it could have been because she was deaf and couldn’t hear herself that she appeared to remain unaware of the excess gas problem   It was when my sister and I, who were drying the dishes, started to giggle uncontrollably that we realised that she had no insight as to why we were laughing.   

“What are you two giggling about” she asked then proceeded to let rip another bubble of gas.

Using the excuse of putting away saucepans in the bottom cupboard, we collapsed on the floor and stuck our grinning faces into the storage space.  I remember feeling shame at the disrespect I was showing yet finding the whole thing even more funny because I wasn’t supposed to laugh.     

“I don’t know, young people” Grandma sighed.  Unable to contain ourselves we raced out of the kitchen into the living room where we could let ourselves go.   My mother, when she finally got some sense out of us, was not amused and sent us back to apologise and finish off helping with the clean up.   We dutifully trooped back into the kitchen and found Grandma using a dustpan and brush on the floor to clean up the dirt.  Nothing unusual about that, but then she used it to sweep the dining room table with.   For those of you who find nothing odd about this – get someone to teach you the meaning of hygiene.

“Grandma, aren’t you supposed to use a clean cloth for the table?” I piped up.  This was a mistake because now she was offended.

“I know what I’m doing” she huffed and proceeded to brush the table down again.

None of us realised it at the time but it was the first sign that everything was not right and that she had dementia. 

Many years later I was visiting home and had a rummage around the freezer for something to cook.  

“Why is there a frozen tie in the freezer?” I asked.

“Ah” my mother said as a look of understanding crossed her face. 

I followed her out of the kitchen up the stairs into the bedroom.  She opened the wardrobe door, stuck her hand into it and pulled out a ham.

“I wondered where that had got to” she said.   

It was the first sign and this time there was nothing remotely funny about it.


2 thoughts on “Growing Old

  1. soooooooooooo based on this diagnosis , i can confidently say I HAVE DEMENTIA !!!
    lost milk i knew i had bought when doing the shopping found in oven later !
    forgot mobile phone so returned home from work to get it, only to find when i re-arrived at the office i had picked the house phone up !
    standing and doing a twirl coz i have forgotten where and in what direction i was heading!
    Ringing No1 son on home phone , hmmmmm he lived in Norway 8 years!
    for ever forgetting passwords and for some unknown reason my house address does not work instead of my payroll number on work systems( that was this morning)
    not to mention the hoards of requests to do/buy/sort things at home and promptly forget to do them until reminded by no2 son.
    and the best, run bath, get undressed then remember i had one earlier than normal !!!!!!
    hope the kids pick a nice nursing home lol xx

    • Hmm – just sounds like the Liz I love and know – Don’t think you have anything to worry about . What I forgot to mention was my first sign which was making tea in a teapot with orange juice instead of water. But I must have gone into remission because that was over 10 years ago. LOL x

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